Abstract

Regional integration schemes have featured highly in the policy agenda of developing country governments during the past three decades, although the strength of the commitment to such arrangements has fluctuated considerably. Developing countries have typically considered regional integration efforts to be, at a minimum, conducive to economic development and political stability in the region as well as to the bargaining position of developing countries in multilateral forums. At times and in some cases, regional integration has been considered essential for self-sustaining growth and development. Views on the role that regional integration might play in development have evolved in line with changing historical circumstances and economic and political philosophies.